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Moving from an old house to a new one takes a lot of time, planning, and resources. It's important to be financially prepared and look for ways to save money during every step of the moving process.
One of the best ways to save money when moving out is by hiring a reputable moving company with low rates. Compare the top 10 movers in your area to find the best fit for you!
How to save money for moving out
Whether you're moving into a more expensive place or thinking about moving out of your parents' house for the first time, it's important to have a personal finance plan before making the leap. Here's what you should do in the months leading up to your move.
1. Determine how much you need to move
If you're saving up to move into a rental, you need to set aside money for a security deposit. If you're saving up to buy a property, you need to set aside money for a down payment. It's also important to have enough money to cover your moving costs and any furniture or household essentials for the new place.
Talk to a loan officer to determine how much house you can afford given your current savings and salary. Research moving companies in your area to get an idea of how much you need to budget for professional movers.
Finally, think about necessities you'll need to purchase right away in your new place: couch, bed, refrigerator. Look these items up online or in a store to determine how much you should have saved to buy these items.
» MORE: How much house can I afford on $70k a year
2. Start a savings account
If you don't already have one, open up a savings account at your local bank. You can use a budget to learn where you spend money and figure out where to cut back on extra expenses.
Before moving out, a good rule of thumb is to save the difference between what you currently pay for housing and what your new payments will be. For example, if you're currently paying $1,000 in rent, but you're moving into a place that charges $1,500, put $500 into your savings account every month.
3. Build up your credit score
Increase your credit score by paying off debt, requesting a credit limit increase on your cards, and paying your bills on time.
A solid credit history is a necessity for renting or purchasing a home. If you don't know what your credit score is currently, you can check it for free once a year by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
» MORE: What credit score is needed to buy a house?
4. Chip away at your debt
If you have any debts, such as auto loans or a student loan, put any extra cash you have toward paying them down. Make sure to factor any monthly debt payments into your overall budget when you're living in the new place. If you have multiple debt payments, consider talking to a financial advisor to determine which one you should pay off first.
How to save money when moving out of your home
It can be easy to overspend during the moving process. Here are some moving tips for homeowners who want to spend less money and make this time a smooth transition.
1. Find a good moving company
If you decide to hire a professional outfit for your move, you will have to make sure that the company you hire is a good one with a positive track record. Here are three ways to identify a very good moving company:
Good reviews and feedback
Good companies are highly rated because their services are excellent, and they satisfy their clients' needs. Take the time to read reviews from clients they have worked with. You can read reviews on their business website and social media handles, along with Google and other ratings sites. Positive reviews and feedback provide a clear indication the company is highly professional and reliable.
A good company offers quality service at an affordable price. Ask for a price quote, and do not book the service if the pricing is not transparent or if what they charge is above your budget.
Excellent customer service
A good company has excellent customer service. What we mean by this is that they are easy to reach. Their customer service channels are always open, and they respond to inquiries on time. Avoid companies without a business phone number or companies that do not respond to messages quickly.
2. Get multiple quotes from movers
Another thing you can do to lower moving costs is to contact multiple moving companies to compare their rates. But before getting quotes from movers, decide on the day you wish to move. After you've picked a day, search for a reputable moving company in your area.
Don't go with the first company you call — it's important to compare the quotes from many to compare.
» MORE: Find the best moving company near you today!
3. Get cash back for moving expenses
Consider getting a cash back credit card that will help you make the most out of your moving expenses. Cash back credit cards will earn you money from purchases made with the card for some specific categories of products.
You can also get a store credit card that will give you access to many advantages and discounts in the store associated with the card. If you are thinking of getting this option, the best ones are those from stores that sell items or services that you will need for your move.
4. Consider a DIY move
Hiring the services of a moving company is not the only way to reduce moving expenses. You can take full responsibility for your move by doing one or more of the following:
Rent a moving truck
If you can drive a truck or know someone who can, hiring a rental truck is a great idea. You pay for the truck, and it's yours for the contracted period. With the truck, you can transport your items from your old house to the new one. Bear in mind that the truck you hire should not be too big or too small for your items.
Get help from friends and family
You will need to do a lot of packing, loading, and unpacking. Make a moving checklist to help you through the process. If you have a large household or a few friends, ask for help! Choose a day and have everybody come over to assist you. With several hands on deck, you will be done in a short time.
5. Sell unwanted furniture and items
As you prepare to move to your new home, it makes no sense to bring along things you will not need where you are going. Bringing household items that are broken or unused will only add more junk to your new place. Heavy or bulky items also increase the cost of your move because there will be more items to pack and store in the truck.
Consider selling unwanted items or donating them to charities. The fewer items you have to transport, the cheaper and faster the process.
6. Choose the right time to move
Another way to reduce your moving expenses is to pick the right time to move. Should you move during the high season (summer) or low season (winter)?
Why is it more expensive to move in the summer?
More than 40% of homeowners move during the summer because the weather is more favorable, and it is safer during this period to travel by road. Also, weather elements such as rain and snow will not mess up their properties. However, the comfort of high season moves comes at a high price.
During this period, the demand for moving services is high, and so are moving rates. Moving during the summer is very expensive. If you want to cut down on cost, consider making your move during the low season.
Perks of moving during the off-season
Moving in the winter has several advantages. First, you have the flexibility of choice because many moving companies are free of any contractual obligations, so you can pick from a long list of available options.
Second, moving rates are cheaper during this period. Due to the decreased demand for their services, moving companies bring down their fees. Some of them even offer discounts to stimulate sales.
Finally, you are at liberty to pick the date you want to move because most of the days during the low season are unbooked.
7. Use low-cost packing
Another way to save money when moving is by choosing affordable packing materials. Packing is an integral aspect of the moving process, and the cost of moving supplies increases moving costs.
To drive down costs, ask around for free boxes. You can also buy cheap moving boxes for your items. Instead of buying wrappers, consider using old sheets and newspapers. Packing paper and blankets will also do.
Frequently asked questions about moving on a budget
If you're moving across state lines, be conscious of what you're bringing with you. Sell, donate, recycle, or throw away anything that isn't essential. Think about whether large items — like furniture or exercise equipment — are worth bringing with you, or whether it will be cheaper to buy them secondhand once you reach your new home. Learn more about how to lower the cost of your move!
One way to save on moving costs is by moving during the offseason. Winter is usually the cheapest time to move, and weekends and holidays tend to be more expensive than weekdays. If you don't have any flexibility with timing, there are other ways to move on a budget, such as getting free boxes from local businesses and finding an affordable moving company.
You should have enough money to pay for your security deposit or down payment, as well as moving costs and new furniture. The exact dollar amount will depend on your personal finance situation. Make sure that your monthly salary is enough to cover your new rent or mortgage payment as well as your essential living expenses, such as groceries, transportation and healthcare.